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DeviantArt artist says Dwayne Johnson movie deal has inspired 'overwhelming' response

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A DeviantArt drawing of a protective teddy bear has inspired a film project by Dwayne "The Rock" Johnson. "Sweet Halloween Dreams," created by Greek software engineer Alex Panagopoulos, shows the tiny bear holding off a massive reptilian monster with a wooden sword, protecting the sleeping girl beside it. As The Hollywood Reporter first discovered a few days ago, Panagopoulos has sold the film rights to New Line, where Johnson is attached as a producer (and potential star) and Beau Flynn — who worked with Johnson on Journey 2: The Mysterious Island — is set to produce as well.

"It is a bit overwhelming to watch something I did very quickly get so much attention."

Panagopoulos tells us the image first became popular on Reddit and other sites last September; "soon afterwards, somebody made a demotivational poster with it, which started circulating in Facebook and elsewhere. There was a huge surge of traffic to my page, although originally the image circulated without attribution... Due to this, in the following months I was approached by several people who had different projects in mind." One of them was Hiram Garcia, Johnson's former assistant, who told him that there was interest in a movie and that Johnson could work on it. "He seemed enthusiastic about it, we discussed and this eventually resulted in an offer."

It's far too early to tell whether a film based on "Sweet Halloween Dreams" will come to fruition, or what it will look like when it does. Panagopoulos, though, says he's seen a massive jump in traffic to the piece since the announcement. "The DeviantArt community is especially warm and supportive, and people have left many comments the last couple of days. It is a bit overwhelming, to watch something I did very quickly a long time ago, and had mostly forgotten about [since] a year and a half ago, get so much attention suddenly."